How I Unexpectedly Stopped Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding was always something that I held dear to my heart. It was something that I wanted to do with my son, but I was so inexperienced and gave up on it sooner than I should have. When my daughter came along I was determined to give it my full effort and dedicate time towards achieving her breastfeeding time to at least 1 year. I was finally at the hospital ready for my baby girl to come and when she did it was the most beautiful little chunky face, pulled back eyes and pink little lips. She was perfect. After a little bit of time holding her skin to skin, I began attempting to breastfeed her, and I kid you not, she latched instantly! I knew right there that our nursing journey would be much different than it was with my son. Well that’s how it all started and it has seriously been great ever since, but now it is over, and done before our 1 year goal.. This really saddens be because it happened so unexpectedly and I was not emotionally prepared to let go.

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Okay, so baby girl was 10 months old when my husband and I took a weekend mini-vacation to San Francisco to spend time alone and to celebrate our 7-year anniversary. Can I get an amen?! God knows marriage is work and an everyday decision to love. Anyway, my husband and I had been lacking spending time together, due to work and life and kids. I mean, can you relate? So we were very excited to spend that weekend together without the kids running around and needing us, as kids do.

 

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I made arrangements for my mother-in-law, sister, and mom to watch all 3 kids for the 3 days we would be gone. I packed all my stuff including my breast pump to keep producing milk while I was away so that I could continue to feed baby girl when I came back 3 days later. I made sure to leave plenty of formula for her to drink in the meantime. So the day came to fly away on our anniversary and spend mommy and daddy time away. While we were in San Francisco I pumped 3 times a day, but I had to toss this precious milk away because I had no proper storage to keep it and bring it back home. So every time I poured it down the sink I felt horrible.. knowing that my daughter was home drinking formula instead. By the third day in San Francisco I noticed my milk supply was decreasing. I started expressing about 6-8 ounces per pump on the first day, and by the third day I was at about 4 ounces per pump. I began to worry and feel bad about the idea of drying up before my desired time.

When I finally got home I hadn’t pumped for hours because our plane was late and there was nowhere to pump in the airport. I had so much milk ready to be expressed that I was in pain. So I couldn’t wait to hold my kids and then nurse baby girl. Well she was sound asleep and my mother-in-law told me that she was struggling to fall asleep and she had just managed to. I felt bad so I didn’t bother baby girl. I went into my room and I pumped the necessary milk so that the pain would go away and went to sleep.

The next day I couldn’t wait for baby girl to wake up so that I could feed her! I was putting so much pressure on her to help me produce milk again. Lots of it, like before. She finally woke up and she was very happy to see mommy and so I put her to the breast and she latched as if I’d never been gone, which I was so happy about. Every time before that, I would feel the milk coming down for her after maybe a minute of her sucking. This time I felt nothing.. I sat there praying out loud, asking God to please let this cycle continue. I tried for the next 3 or 4 feedings, but it was just not happening. Baby girl was not eating and I knew it was gone… I cried every one of those times that I tried to feed her and no milk came out. I felt like a horrible mother for leaving to San Francisco and drying up her milk supply. I hated myself for every time I mentioned how badly I wanted to stop wearing breast pads and how uncomfortable it was. I was a mess. I wasn’t ready to let this go. I wasn’t ready for my baby not to depend on me in that way. I wasn’t ready to stop holding her while she ate. I wasn’t ready to stop looking into those beautiful brown eyes while I nursed her. I just wasn’t ready. In my head, that’s not how I saw this path ending. It took me a couple more days to get used to the idea that this was my life now. This was my baby girl’s life now. And after praying for peace in my heart, I got it.

God gave me the peace I needed in my heart to understand that things don’t always go as planned, but that is perfectly okay. He showed me that I don’t have control over everything, but that is okay too. And most importantly, He showed me that my baby girl would be just fine, that I should be proud that I was able to exclusively nurse her for 10 months and that I should be grateful that I didn’t suffer physically to dry up my supply.  So now, I am at peace with it. It’s been a month since, and I can finally put my thoughts in order and share this with you all.

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I really hope this serves as inspiration or hope for any women out there going through something similar!

Here’s a verse for you to meditate on:

Ecclesiastes 3:11  

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”

Thanks for stopping by! – Jenny C.

What I use to treat hair


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Hi all! As you’ve seen from my instagram and facebook posts I’ve put my hair through a lot as far as chemicals and hair products! I have an amazing hairstylist which is actually my own mom! How cool is that?! Anyway, I always come out with amazing looking hair from my hair appointments! She always knows what products to recommend for treating the damage in my hair. The brand I’ve been using is JOICO. Specifically the JOICO KPAK OIL COLOR THERAPY. I’ve been using it for more than 2 months now and I have to sau it’s pretty awesome! How I use it is after I take a shower I place a towel around my hair for a minute or two just to dry the extra water off. I pump the treatment about 6 times on the palm of my hand and rub it evenly on both palms. I take the towel off of hair and apply thoroughly. Then I let it sit for a couple of minutes so that the hair can absorb the product. After that I split my hair evenly into two sections and I brush out any tangles I may have. Not only does the JOICO oil allow for easy detangling, but it literally smells so delicious! This is basically what I do everytime I step out of the shower, seriously. Now I feel like my hair is restoring the damage I’ve caused in the past, and smelling great in the process. Don’t for get to trim your dead ends often to support your hair health!

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All in all this product is amazing! I recommend it 100% and this is not a sponsored post, this is really how I feel about the JOICO KPAK COLOR THERAPY oil! If your hair has been through a lot, you should give this a try, you’ll love it.

Thanks for stopping by!

Jenni C

Smile Brilliant Review & Giveaway

Hello everyone! I hope you all entered the JORD giveaway from my last post! Are you all done with your Christmas shopping? I am! I actually started in October to beat the traffic chaos at the stores! The only person I always struggle to choose a present for, believe it or not, is my husband! He’s just a very laid back person that is happy with what he has and doesn’t seem to want or need anything more. So because of that I always get him a gift card, or a sweater or shoes. But, come on! I want my husband to be really excited about his present, you know? So Smile Brilliant came at the perfect time!

Not only did they send me their product, but they’ve got you guys in mind tooimage because they have provided me with an Exclusive Giveaway Link and a Coupon Code for a 5% discount on their site!  I will talk more about that in a bit. So they wanted me to use their product and I was super excited until I received it and read the fine print that said that the product was not intended for nursing moms! I was so bummed out!!  I didn’t really know what to do and I remembered I didn’t have a Christmas present for my husband so I thought this would make an interesting and unique gift! So I gave him the Smile Brilliant kit as an early Christmas Present. He’s been using it for a few weeks now and let me tell you, his teeth really do look whiter! And he notices it too! Here are his thoughts on the product.

“I’ve always been skeptical about teeth whitening products because I’ve heard so many bad stories. I knew I wanted to whiten my teeth at some point, but I never really got around to it. When my wife, Jenni, gave me the Smile Brilliant kit I was more than ready to get started. As you can see in the pictures below my teeth were not too yellow. At least that’s what I thought until I saw the side by side images of the before and after and I was very surprised! How it works is you make imageyour impressions at the comfort  of your home and send them to the address they provide so that they can make your permanent molds and send them to you. Once you receive them you’re ready to use the gels on your teeth. You must use the whitening gel for a couple of hours and then move on to the desensitizing gel. You have to be careful not to add too much of the whitening gel because I did that the first time and I felt a burning sensation on my gums. When the time comes you need to carefully remove the mold from your teeth and rinse it thoroughly then add the desensitizing gel and put your molds back on. It’s done once a day or every other day if you feel your teeth are becoming sensitive to the product. I do feel my teeth became a tad bit more sensitive, but I can definitely see the difference in my teeth. They look much whiter! The great thing about the kit is that the instructions are extremely detailed and make it very easy for a newbie to understand what to do. Most importantly the product does what it promises! I would definitely recommend this product to anyone trying to whiten they’re teeth rather quickly and effectively! Thanks Smile Brilliant for sending my wife, Jenni this product!”

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So there you have it! He is happy with the product and with the results he sees! I have to say I’m happy too! He looks great!

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GIVEAWAY

And now for the giveaway…

  • All you have to do is CLICK HERE and enter your name and email!
  • The giveaway ends 2 weeks from today, so hurry!
  • You will be entering to win a credit of $1,139.95 including FREE SHIPPING!
  • And don’t be bummed if you don’t win the giveaway because you can go to their website and use Coupon Code: balancingmom (which is good for 2 months from today) to get a 5% savings!!

I hope you found this review helpful and informative and a big thanks to Smile Brilliant for their collaboration!

Here’s a YouTube video review of Smile Brilliant by Sylvia Gani.


Teeth Whitening Products

 

JORD Watch Review and Giveaway!

Hi everyone! So as you can tell by the title of this post I have a giveaway in store for you all! It’s a really good one too.

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So I’ve partnered with JORD, which is a company that makes these beautiful timepieces using various types of woods from around the world. They sent me the watch pictured, which is the Frankie 35 Zebrawood and Champagne, and I did a little bit of research on Zebrawood and it comes from 80 foot tall trees in West Africa. I just think that’s super interesting! Before they sent it to me they emailed me a sheet with measuring instructions so that they could custom size it.

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I received the watch about 3 days later and the packaging itself is just beautiful! I could smell the natural wood on the box. My husband said he could smell the wood finishing, but I could not. So the box that it comes with is very sturdy made out of wood, of course, and it closes with magnets that are integrated in it, which is pretty cool. Inside you will find your wood watch wrapped around this cute little cushion. It comes with extension pieces needed in case your watch comes too small.
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The box also has a mini-drawer on the bottom for extra storage. I definitely think the presentation is spectacular! So when I finally tried on my cool watch, sadly, it was too small. I’m assuming I did not measure my wrist accurately. Anyway, those extension pieces came in useful because I ended up adding one of them. I will say I wish they had instructions on how to install these extension pieces and maybe a little tool to do it. I had to look for instructions online and ended up using an earring as a tool.

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In the end the watch was a tad big on me, but if I push it back towards my elbow I manage to get it tight enough to stay on me. I actually like how it looks that way. It really is a very unique watch and I’ve worn it a few times already and it matches pretty much every outfit I’ve tried to pair it with. I wore it for long hours and it did not make my wrist sweat. It felt very lightweight and easy to wear. Overall I am so happy with it and I’ve gotten many compliments on it, so I definitely recommend it. And now for the GIVEAWAY!!!

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The winner will receive a $75 gift code to put towards the watch of your choice!! It could be a women’s watch or men’s watch! And don’t worry because even if you don’t win the contest, you get a $20 gift code towards a watch! So in my eyes, everyone’s a winner here! This contest closes on 11/27/16 at 11:59pm and the gift codes expire on 2/28/17 so that gives you more than enough time to select the perfect watch for yourself, or even as a gift to someone! Christmas is coming! Your code will even be available through Valentine’s day!

GIVEAWAY LINK!

Link to JORD Women’s Watches

Link to my Watch

JORD Wooden Watches

This post was sponsored by JORD Wood Watches

My Morning Routine

Hi all, how’s your Wednesday night going? I’m sitting in bed trying to blog while my 5 month old and 3 year old are playing and trying to grab my laptop! I need a trip to the grocery store right about now because every mom knows that’s “mommy-time”, “me-time”, amiright?!! Anyway, today’s been busy for me. My daughter performed a dance at her school and it was in the middle of the day so I’m still recovering from leftover things to do around the house. Well enough of my ranting. Here is a video I made to give you a small glimpse into my home and what my mornings typically look like. I hope you enjoy it! Let me know if any other videos you would like to see in the comments and thanks for stopping by!

xoxo Jenni C.

 

A Day In My Life

Good Morning All!! Well right now it’s about 8:47 in the morning here in San Diego and I’m sitting here in my living room with y 3-year-old son. He’s watching Clifford and I’m here, having mommy-time. I thought I’d give you a glimpse into a typical day in my life. So here’s what today looks like for me.

6:45 am: I woke up and took some chicken out of the freezer for today’s dinner then got ready to take my daughter to school. We walk to school so it’s a good way to fully wake up and also a good time to spend some time talking to her and give her a little bit of my undivided attention that sometimes I can’t give her during the day. Today we talked about how she’s excited about 6th grade and she’s ready to get her fundraising started for 6th grade camp. She’s seriously a good sales little woman. We also talked about how she wished the sun would be out and I told her I like cloudy days like these and I also mentioned she’s getting better and better at doing her hair. We got to school and I walked her to her classroom and said goodbye.

coffee7:45 am: I walked back to the cafeteria for the “Coffee with the Principles” meeting they were going to have. This is a great way to get more into what my daughter’s school is up to and also to get to know the principles and some of the teachers in her school as well. Oh, and you can never go wrong with a cup of coffee and cookies at 7:45 in the morning and raffle for a prize. I walked home afterwards with no prize in arms ha ha, but a better understanding of what is going on in my daughter’s school.

8:30 am: I got home and my son was already awake and in my bed with his daddy. Daddy is off from work today
so there are a few things we’re taking care of. I bring him to the living room and we hang out for a little while before daddy & sister wake up. My daughter always sends my son a little snack from her school’s cafeteria in a little lunch bag so this is the time he will open it and eat it. This is also the time where I can read him a book to him or play something with him.

Banana-Oat-Pancakes 29:30 am: My husband wakes up around this time on his days off and we make breakfast together. Today we will make my famous (and delicious)
banana-oatmeal pancakes since I have about 4 bananas that are about to go bad. Once breakfast is ready my husband and son will eat and I will go nurse my daughter. After she’s done, I will have my breakfast then clean-up the kitchen.

 

10:30 am: We just purchased a car off Craigslist but it needs a few repairs. One very important one is the Air Conditioning system! With temperatures reaching past the 80s here in San Diego and with 3 kids in the car, we definitely need this fixed asap. So my husband will be taking the car down to Tijuana to get that fixed for a better price.

Laundry11:00 am: I will start by putting a load into the washer, and while that gets going I will clean my room and my bathroom. I will probably cut up a green apple with peanut butter for a snack for my son and me and take out a Gerber for my baby girl. Then I will put the load into the dryer and start washing another load while the first one finishes drying.

12:00 pm: I will get to dusting the living room and sweeping the floor and then fold the dried clothes and put the washed clothes into the dryer. At this time I will wash the potatoes and get them ready for the oven, then wash some broccoli and steam it.

playdoh1:00 pm: I will get the Play-Doh out for my son and sit him in a high-chair to play while I nurse my daughter for the second time. Can I just say Play-Doh has been a life-saver for me when it come to entertaining my son. He literally will spend a good hour to two hours playing with it!! I love this stuff! Anyway, once I’m done nursing I will put baby girl down for her nap and finish up cooking the chicken breasts I thawed earlier and I will also be making lentil soup.

2:15 pm: If my husband is back from Tijuana, he will stay with the kids while I go pick up my daughter from school, or he will go himself, but if he’s not this is the time I will start prepping to go pick her up. I’ll have my son put on his shoes, brush his hair and teeth and get myself and my baby girl changed (If we’re not already). I’ll put the kids in the stroller and off we go.

3:00 pm: I’ll be back home by this time and will put my baby girl in her swing, my son will go play in his room and my daughter will go change and start her homework while I finish up serving dinner. When I’m ready to serve I will call her to set the table and I will serve, we pray, and enjoy our food. When we’re done, my older daughter will clean up the table, put any clean dishes away and go do her homework. I will finish cleaning the rest of the kitchen and sweeping the floor once again.

MOVIEATHOME4:30 pm: I will play a movie for my son so he can watch while I nurse my daughter for the third time. My older daughter will get ready and make herself a snack so she can  leave for a church event she has.

6:00 pm: I will make another snack for my son, maybe ham, cheese and crackers. Then I will sit him down to play with play-doh for the second time.

8:00 pm: I will nurse my baby girl again and let my son use the tablet in the meantime. My older daughter will arrive from church and get ready for bed.

9:00 pm: I will serve the kids cereal and send my daughter off to bed. I will brush my son’s teeth and get him to bed while my baby girl is in her crib.

10:00 pm: This will be wither mommy-time, or mommy and daddy time.

relax311:30 pm: My husband heads off to the gym and I catch up on my Bible reading, spend time with the Lord in prayer and sometimes I will work on my devotional from my Bible Study at my church. This is the fuel that keeps me going and keeps me sane. I don’t function the same when I don’t keep myself checked with God. After this if I still have energy in me and if I’m not sleepy yet I will watch TV for a little while until my husband comes home.

12:30 am: My husband will return from the gym, take a shower and then we’ll go to sleep.

So this is basically it for my typical day. Of course you all probably know that the day changes often with my 3 kids. They have their own schedule and could care less about mine haha.

Anyway I hope you all were able to get a small glimpse into my life as a mom. I’m thinking of doing a video of this to post on YouTube. What do you think?! Thanks for stopping by  ✌🏼️😉

xoxo

Jenni C.

Easy Oatmeal Banana Pancakes Recipe

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Hi all! If you love all things bread like me, then you love pancakes as much as I do. Well, my kids love them also and when weekends come around they’re the first to suggest that we make them for breakfast. So because we were eating them too much I looked on Pinterest for a different pancake recipe and I found this one. It’s seriously super easy to make and not only are they delicious, they’re way healthier than the ones we were eating. Also, they are so soft that my 3 year old can cut it up into pieces on his own! If you ask me, that’s a winner in my book! So here’s the recipe, but I also made a video that I uploaded to YouTube for all of you visual people out there (like me!). I do have to say that it was a spur-of-the-moment recording that video. You’ll notice I wore no make-up, hair in a clip, literally what I look like every morning lol. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this post, the video, and most importantly… the pancakes!!! Let me know if you make them, and if you liked them or not! Thanks for stopping by!

Recipe: Yields about 4 think pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Banana
  • 1/2c Oats
  • 1/4c Apple Sauce
  • Vanilla
  • Cinnamon

Directions

  • Blend all ingredients in a blender until ground.
  • place a little bit of mix on buttered pan.
  • Flip over when it browns a little and has a few bubbles.
  • Serve hot and enjoy!

 

Jenni C.

5 ways I De-stress

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Hi all today I want to share with you how I de-stress myself every few days or just whenever I feel like I need it. Sometimes I feel very overwhelmed with life and with my long list of things that need to get done. I tend to get stressed more than I would like to, but I’ve realized that every few days I need to have some “me” time and relax. Here are 5 ways that I do that.

1. Connecting with God
This is the most important one of all! I try to at least once a week detox myself from the negative emotions in my heart or thoughts in my head that are toxic.The best way to do that is seeking God and his peace. I pray to Him and ask for peace in my heart. I thank Him for all he has done for me and the lessons he’s taught me. I try to connect with Him through reading his word or doing a devotional or praying in private. Spending time with him is vital to my sanity. I always have peace in my heart after time with the Lord.

2. Taking a long shower
Now I’m not talking about an everyday quick shower, but a long spa shower. I usually just jump in the shower in a rush and in all honesty I don’t shower everyday. I just can’t with my 3 kids running around. My husband gets home around 8pm, I serve him dinner, and start our night routine which is putting kids to sleep, cleaning, nursing my baby girl, etc. So all in all my “me” time is really scarce. So when I schedule a long shower, it really feels like I’m in a spa. I put some
music on and run the water while I prep my pjs. I jump in the shower and take my time. When I step out of the shower I’m able to put my hair treatment on, brush my hair, even braid it  sometimes haha. I put my lotion and face cream on and let my skin absorb it. I get dressed and by this time someone already needs me. Either my son has to use the restroom, baby’s fussy, School papers need to be signed. So when I’m out the door it’s straight back to reality, but feeling refreshed and most definitely de-stressed.

3. Running errands alone
On the days that my husband is off from work I try to get out of the house and run all the errands that I didn’t run all week. So during the week I plan my “to-do” list and have it ready. I leave the baby fed, and my toddler fed as well and off I go. I try to stop by and treat myself to a decaf coffee or some sort of drink just for me. I drive and start working off of my to-do list. Something about driving around listening to music with the windows down just relaxes me.

4. Listening to really loud music
When I have cleaning around the house that I’ve put off for a few days and I finally get to it, I’ll blast Pandora and just start cleaning from the living room to the dining room to the kitchen. Listening to music makes a difference for me when it comes to cleaning. Also my toddler will start dancing along to the beats and that definitely brings a smile to my face. By the time I’m done I feel relaxed.

5. Watching a romantic or funny movie
It’s very rare that I’ll sit down and watch a movie all the way to the end. When I do, though, I try to choose a romantic movie. I’m just a sucker for romance and all things love stories! So that’s my first choice of movie. If I can’t find a romantic one, then a funny one will be my second choice. I either end up feeling funny or feeling appreciative of love. Either way, it de-stresses and relaxes me!

These are just 5 of the ways that I de-stress, but let me know what your techniques for de-stressing are! Or let me know if you’ll be trying these out and if they worked for you. Thanks for stopping by!

Jenni C.